Well, this book was an absolute delight! I could barely put it down. I found myself sneaking pages on lunch breaks and getting up early to get a few chapters in. All readers know, that’s the sign of an excellent book!
As a self-proclaimed romance aficionado, I am ashamed to say that this is my first Jennifer L. Armentrout book (to be referred to as JLA for the remainder of this review) but pleased to announce this absolutely won’t be my last book by her. I know this is her first foray into the high fantasy romance world, and I have to say, I loved it.
I’ve read my share of fantasy romance, and I am always a little nervous that the romance will be completely overshadowed by the fantasy world-building, which let’s be clear, I care about that much less than the relationship-building. JLA managed to strike the perfect balance of world-building, sizzling romance, and fantasy; let’s bow down to the queen for pulling off that amazing feat! The fantasy, the mystery, the romance, the violence, the connections, the friendships, the revelations, each aspect of the book blended flawlessly into a fast-paced and gripping novel.
I won’t get too much into the plot, because reading the twists and turns throughout this 600+ page behemoth is half the fun, but I was a big fan of the heroine, Poppy. She was strong, sympathetic, and would fight tooth and nail for anyone she cared about. The hero, Hawke, grew on me, I enjoyed his rather off-beat sense of humor, and I loved that his alpha-ness was always offset with care and respect for Poppy.
I did have to knock off one star because the plot was so, so, soooo predictable in parts. I knew about most of the secrets and revelations way before they happened, and I knew how our heroine would react and how our hero would react. To be fair, JLA’s writing kept me on the edge of my seat waiting for what I knew was already going to happen, and that’s the sign of a great writer.
Overall, I absolutely recommend this book to fantasy lovers, romance lovers, and anyone in-between. It’s the perfect escape read, and I am just itching for the next book already. I guess I’ll entertain myself with JLA’s complete backlist in the meantime! Although, if she wanted to come out with the next book in the series, like, tomorrow I wouldn’t complain.
**I received an ARC of this book in order to provide an honest review**